Long naps lead to all-cause death and cardiovascular diseases: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2020

Long naps were linked to elevated risk of death only in those who slept more than six hours per night.

This link was more pronounced in women and older participants

According to a study presented at the recent ESC Congress 2020, long naps are detrimental to heart health.

The lead author of the study Dr Zhe Pan of Guangzhou Medical University, China, said in a statement: “Daytime napping is common all over the world and is generally considered a healthy habit. A common view is that napping improves performance and counteracts the negative consequences of ‘sleep debt’. Our study challenges these widely-held opinions.”

The study tried to establish a link between napping and the risks of all-cause death and cardiovascular diseases. A total of 313,651 participants from more than 20 studies were included in the analysis. Some 39 per cent of participants took naps.

The research noted that long naps (more than an hour) were associated with a 30 per cent greater risk of all-cause death and 34 per cent higher likelihood of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) compared to no napping.


The study also said that long naps were linked to elevated risk of death only in those who slept more than six hours per night. Overall, naps of any length were linked with a 19 per cent elevated risk of death. This link was more pronounced in women, who had a 22 per cent greater likelihood of death with napping compared to no napping, and older participants, whose risk rose by 17 per cent with naps.

Pan said: “The results suggest that shorter naps (especially those less than 30 to 45 minutes) might improve heart health in people who sleep insufficiently at night. The reasons why napping affects the body are still uncertain.”

He added that some studies stood juxtaposed to the one his team has conducted.

“Other research has connected napping with high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor overall physical health. If you want to take a siesta, our study indicates it’s safest to keep it under an hour. For those of us not in the habit of a daytime slumber, there is no convincing evidence to start,” he concluded quoted as saying in the Medical Dialogues report.

Published on August 28, 2020

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